It’s one of Jasper’s best kept secrets; Texas Wine Shop & Bistro, founded in 2006 by the family of the late Bill Talcott, his wife-Linda, daughter-Michelle, son-Steve and his wife Susanne. Bill's retirement left too much idle time on his hands and he decided to plant 20 acres of muscadine grapes and that was the beginning of the Texas Winery. Michelle, manager of the business, and her mom, Linda, are the smiling faces that you'll see when you walk through their doors. Steve and Susanne live in College Station with their two children and help with the business especially at harvest time.
Almost completely hidden in plain sight on the west side of Highway 96 South in Jasper, a small sign is the only indicator of the business, and if you miss the driveway and have to back up to it, you’re not the only one.
Behind a small grape vineyard (it’s real, but just for show) about 75 yards off of the highway is a sprawling 1950’s era ranch style house, which was once the home of the late Dr. Gerald V. Cammack, a longtime Jasper orthodontist who passed away in 2019.
Admittedly, the first time you see it you’ll be underwhelmed. The exterior of the old house is virtually untouched, but when you open the front door…. WOW!
The Talcott family completely remodeled the interior of the home, knocking down walls to create a very open and airy building with a very hip vibe, perfectly combined with a warm embracing atmosphere. It’s just big enough, and yet just small enough.
The Talcott's harvest the grapes and muscadines for their wines from their very own 20 acre vineyard south of Jasper, and the creation of the wine takes place in a facility located behind the wine shop and bistro. KJAS News was there on a day when Steve Talcott was closely monitoring the temperature inside two huge vats as the soon-to-be wine inside was going through a very important rapid chill-down phase.
The Talcott family offers traditional grape wine, which is known to be heart healthy, along with sweet muscadine wine, which is fat-free and packed with antioxidants, and also acai wine, known to be good for controlling cholesterol and it has about a dozen other health benefits.
Steve explained that unlike traditional wine, which is aged to perfection, muscadine wine is instead an instant drinker. Steve said the best muscadine wine is straight from the vat, and he encourages those who take a bottle or two home to enjoy it the quicker the better.
Meanwhile, the kitchen staff prepares upscale entrees such as fish or shrimp tacos, or artisan pizzas and other Italian dishes.
Texas Wine Shop & Bistro is located at 2055 South Wheeler Street, 1 mile south of Highway 190.